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Comment Steve Jobs on Tech in Education: (Score 1) 311

From a 1996 Wired Magazine interview. ( ):

Could technology help by improving education?

Steve Jobs:
I used to think that technology could help education. I've probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I've had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What's wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.

It's a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. The problems are unions. You plot the growth of the NEA [National Education Association] and the dropping of SAT scores, and they're inversely proportional. The problems are unions in the schools. The problem is bureaucracy. I'm one of these people who believes the best thing we could ever do is go to the full voucher system.

I have a 17-year-old daughter who went to a private school for a few years before high school. This private school is the best school I've seen in my life. It was judged one of the 100 best schools in America. It was phenomenal. The tuition was $5,500 a year, which is a lot of money for most parents. But the teachers were paid less than public school teachers - so it's not about money at the teacher level. I asked the state treasurer that year what California pays on average to send kids to school, and I believe it was $4,400. While there are not many parents who could come up with $5,500 a year, there are many who could come up with $1,000 a year.

If we gave vouchers to parents for $4,400 a year, schools would be starting right and left. People would get out of college and say, "Let's start a school." You could have a track at Stanford within the MBA program on how to be the businessperson of a school. And that MBA would get together with somebody else, and they'd start schools. And you'd have these young, idealistic people starting schools, working for pennies.

They'd do it because they'd be able to set the curriculum. When you have kids you think, What exactly do I want them to learn? Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable things you don't learn until you're older - yet you could learn them when you're younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a curriculum for a school?

God, how exciting that could be! But you can't do it today. You'd be crazy to work in a school today. You don't get to do what you want. You don't get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?

These are the solutions to our problems in education. Unfortunately, technology isn't it. You're not going to solve the problems by putting all knowledge onto CD-ROMs. We can put a Web site in every school - none of this is bad. It's bad only if it lulls us into thinking we're doing something to solve the problem with education.

Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting human beings with technology.

It's not as simple as you think when you're in your 20s - that technology's going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some ways it won't.

Comment Lack of character shines through.... (Score 5, Insightful) 576

"Looking back, Christoforo is still a little shocked that what he thought would remain a private email conversation got blown into an Internet event the way it did." This show a blinding misunderstanding of the Internet. I always act/write/post/upload and assume anything i send to anyone could end up in the faces of the planet. To not do so invites this kind of idiocy. The measure of the man is that he acted the way he did because he thought he was acting 'in secret'. People who act this way are not the kind of people I trust to work with me reliably.

Comment Re:Hooch (Score 1) 297

Utopias is, at 24%, about the highest you can get with yeast fermentation - they use a very specially bred super-strain of yeast with very high alcohol tolerance... most yeast quit somewhere between 9 and 15%, up to about 17% for some champagne yeasts. Utopias is surprisingly good (I tasted it at the Great American Beer Festival) - a port-like beer, if you will. I do not think it is worth the asking price of $100 a bottle, though. I completely agree that any form of distillation causes beer to stop being beer, as well.

Submission + - Captured comet becomes moon of Jupiter (

An anonymous reader writes: Jupiter's gravity captured a comet in the mid-20th century, holding it in orbit as a temporary moon for 12 years. The comet, named 147P/Kushida-Muramatsu, is the fifth body known to have been pulled by Jupiter from its orbit around the Sun. The discovery adds to our understanding of how Jupiter interferes with objects from the 'Hilda group', which are asteroids and comets with orbits related to Jupiter's orbit.

Surface Plume On Betelgeuse Imaged 51

BJ_Covert_Action writes "Astronomy Now is running a piece regarding some new, exquisitely detailed pictures taken of Betelgeuse, a star in the constellation Orion. Betelgeuse is classified as a supergiant star, and its diameter is approximately 1,000 times that of the sun. Two teams of astronomers used ESO's 'Very large Telescope,' its NACO instruments, and an imaging technique known as 'Lucky Imaging' to take some of the most detailed pictures of Betelgeuse to date. The new pictures reveal a gas plume on Betelgeuse which extends from the surface of the star a distance greater than that between our sun and Neptune. The images also show several other 'boiling' spots on the surface of Betelgeuse, revealing the surface to be quite tumultuous. Currently, it is known that stars of Betelgeuse's size eject the equivalent mass of the Earth into space every year. This recent astronomy work will help researchers determine the mechanics behind such ejections." Update — 8/05 at 13:31 by SS: Here's the original press release from the European Southern Observatory, since the Astronomy Now page has slowed to a crawl.

NASA Plans To De-Orbit ISS In 2016 554

NewbieV writes "The international space station is by far the largest spacecraft ever built by earthlings. Circling the Earth every 90 minutes, it often passes over North America and is visible from the ground when night has fallen but the station, up high, is still bathed in sunlight. After more than a decade of construction, it is nearing completion and finally has a full crew of six astronauts. The last components should be installed by the end of next year. And then? 'In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and de-orbit the spacecraft,' says NASA's space station program manager, Michael T. Suffredini."

Submission + - Kindle Spying (

Sherri Davidoff writes: "Josh Wright recently purchased a new Kindle. Surprisingly, when he downloaded one of his books onto the new Kindle, it offered to open it to the page where he had left off on his old Kindle. In other words, Amazon tracked not just the books he was reading, but specifically which sections of the book he was looking at. 'Amazon is able to determine what pages I've read and which I've skipped,' Josh said. 'They can determine the pages I've re-read (such as the hacking U3 drives section in my Kindle copy of Hacking Exposed), which could potentially be used against me as evidence in a court of law, for example. They could even monitor how much time I spend reading, and when (useful information for an employer who might want to know when their employees are slacking off and not working). I'd like to find out what Amazon's privacy policy is about this data, and what they are retaining long-term. Do they record only the last page read for each of my books, purging this information after a period of time, or is it more nefarious?'"

CJKV Information Processing 2nd ed. 52

stoolpigeon writes "At the end of last year, I made a move from an IT shop focused on supporting the US side of our business to a department that provides support to our operations outside the US. This was the first time I've worked in an international context and found myself, on a regular basis, running into long-time assumptions that were no longer true. My first project was implementing a third-party, web-based HR system for medium-sized offices. I found myself constantly missing important issues because I had such a narrow approach to the problem space. Sure, I've built applications and databases that supported Unicode, but I've never actually implemented anything with them but the same types of systems I'd built in the past with ASCII. But a large portion of the world's population is in Asia, and ASCII is certainly not going to cut it there. Fortunately, a new edition of Ken Lunde's classic CJKV Information Processing has become available, and it has really opened my eyes." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.

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